PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There’s nothing easy about hedge work.

The clippers are heavy and they can be dangerous.

Also, one of the biggest drawbacks is the mess it leaves behind, but consumers had little choice – until now.

Garden Groom is a new product.

The infomercial calls it the first breakthrough in hedge trimmers in more than a quarter of a century.

“Introducing the Garden Groom,” touts the infomercial, “the revolutionary three in one hedge trimmer that cuts, shreds, collect and mulches the mess.

But does it really do that?

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s garden expert Doug Oster says one thing’s for sure, “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“It is so light,” said Doug as he picked up the Garden Groom for the first time.

There are stainless steel blades on the underside and a mulch collector
attaches to the rear.

Directions say you just plug in your Garden Groom and it’s ready to go.

Doug said the hedge trimmer rides on the top of the hedges and he can’t believe how easy it is to use.

You move the Garden Groom in a sweeping pendulum motion from side to side.

Right from the get go, Doug is impressed with the job it does on new growth on yews.

Next we try something with about six inches of growth.

Doug just starts at the top of the growth and the Garden Groom eats the new growth away.

Doug says there’s just one thing missing — the mess.

The trimmings are mulched and end up in the mulch container on the product.

When we work on the sides of the bushes, we do get a little mess, but most of the trimmings definitely end up in the mulch container.

Not only does the Garden Groom do what it promises, Doug loves the safety features missing on old hedge trimmers.

“You have to have both hands on it while you are working,” he said.  “If one hand is off, the product disengages. Take the other hand off and again, it disengages.”

About the only thing Doug doesn’t find necessary or terribly convenient is the alternate mulch bag.

It has a long hose with a mulch catcher at the bottom.

The small container serves us well.

“I love it,” said Oster. “If you are going to be trimming your shrubs, this is very easy to do. It is lightweight. I love the safety features. The only question is, and we can’t answer that, is durability, but it looks to be well made.”

It should be well made. It sells for between $150 and $179.

The price is where Doug draws the line.

“That’s high. For what I am seeing here. I’d pay $59. It’s too much for me for what it is,” he said.

All in all, Doug gives the product a definite thumbs up.

But a thumbs down on the price.

A word of caution: a viewer wrote to tell us she needed 16 stitches due to an accident with her Garden Groom.

She had turned off the product and put her finger in the blade, not realizing that the blade continues to spin for a while until it comes to a complete stop.

So wear gloves and be careful.

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